For these three motorists, the Toyota Hilux is the perfect car not only because of its ground clearance but also its ability to carry a lot of cargo, writes Roland D. Nasasira.
I drove the Toyota Hilux for 10 years before I started driving the Toyota VX V8. The Hilux is a flexible car since it can be used as an office, family and field car. It is a 4X4 car that has engine and performance capacity to be driven through any terrain.
Its fuel consumption is efficient. On average, it will give you between 8.5 to 10 kilometres using one litre of fuel. This makes it very user friendly in terms of consumption and service. Being a Toyota, its maintenance is affordable because its spare parts can be sourced locally.
There are those that have 2800cc and 3000cc engine sizes respectively. Every time I visited the garage, its service and maintenance cost not more than Shs400,000. There is service A, A1 and B. Service A and A1 are quite closer but service for B is a bit costly, at approximately Shs700,000.
With service A, you will change your oil filters, engine oil, top up all fluids such as brake fluid, battery acid, hydraulic oil, steering wheel oil and other general checks of key parts. For service A1, it is more or less the same but you will change the diesel filter.
With service B, you will tackle all gearbox oils, greasing, bearings are pulled out and fixed back with new grease, brake pads are also checked and confirmed if they can still serve you because its service is done after covering 15,000 kilometres. This means you will not frequent the garage.
When it comes to the economic status in terms of cost saving and efficiency of the vehicle, it is one you should own. It is a vehicle of all seasons that comes with a low operation cost.
One of the things I love about the Toyota Hilux is its ground clearance. It cannot be compared to any other car in the same class. It is fast and yet very stable on the road.
When its cabin is loaded with merchandise, its stability is even better. I recall a time I loaded it with six bags of charcoal from Kitgum and was worried that it could affect its stability. Amazingly, it instead became more stable, much as the load had an impact on fuel consumption. Even then, I managed to drive through rough terrain with ease.
When driving upcountry, I never worry about getting stuck anywhere because the roads are slippery. I only get worried when roads have flooded or when there are stronger floods. Like any other car, it could easily be washed away even with its good ground clearance.
It also comes with well amplified speakers spread all over the car that do not need require the addition of any other speakers. On the highway, it moves way faster and yet consumes less fuel. A full tank of 80 litres can take me up to Gulu or Lira without need to refuel on the way. I would only need to top up more fuel on the return journey.
I am a tall person and one of the things I like about the Toyota Hilux is its spacious interior. Even with my long legs, I do not feel any joint pain from sitting and driving for long.
I can reach the foot pedals without adjusting the driving seat, which is also big and large enough. The co-driver’s seat is meant for one person but when not driving, I sit with my backpack in the same seat. This means it is spacious enough for comfort as you travel.
It also has ample leg room that when you want to sleep on a long journey, you will not wake up with painful legs even without pushing the seat backwards. This is because you an easily stretch your legs.
If you are the kind of motorist that travels with lots of documents, the Toyota Hilux gives you options of where to keep them; from the door sides, to the dashboard and in the pockets behind the driver and co-driver’s seats. It also has a number of cup holders, two on the dashboard and one for every door.
The fact that it comes only with a manual transmission makes it more engaging while driving. It also instantly responds to gear engagement.
On average, its service and maintenance costs Shs350,000. This involves aspects such as draining old engine oil and replacing it with new oil, changing brake pads and transmission fluids, among other checks.
It is also a garden tool. You cannot travel upcountry or visit your farm and not come back with food; its cabin is tempting to load with any kind of foodstuff.